As resident doctors in the various public hospitals across the nation return to their duty posts today, after a three-day nationwide warning strike, the aggrieved medical doctors have threatened to embark on an indefinite strike should the Federal Government fail to accede to their demands.
Doctor-strike1Meanwhile, doctors at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Idi-Araba, Lagos, are yet to resume, following what they described as the insensitivity of the hospital management to their various demands.
Yesterday in Lagos, the striking doctors made good their threat as services in most of the hospitals remained almost unavailable.
In most of the hospitals Vanguard visited, patients seemed to have stayed away due to the strike. Only consultants were attending to the few patients who showed up.
Reacting to the situation in a telephone chat with Vanguard, the National President of the Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, Dr. Jubril Abdullahi, confirmed that the doctors resumed yesterday.
Abdullahi, who also hinted that the Federal Government had earlier invited the association for a meeting last Tuesday, explained that his executive got the letter late and could not, therefore, mobilise other executive members in different parts of the country.
He said: “We received a letter for a meeting from the government Monday night for a meeting on Tuesday. But we told them it was not possible for us to honour the meeting as our executive members expected to be at that meeting were not on ground.
“Right now, we are planning for a meeting on the 17th of this month, but before that time, we are going to hold a meeting with our parent body, Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, on the 11th on the impending issues.
“We are hoping that the government will resolve the issues before that time. But if nothing is done, we will go on with our already planned indefinite strike from the July
Contrary to the position of the national body, LUTH chapter of the association has said the status quo remained.
The President of LUTH-ARD, Dr. Omojowolo Olubunmi, said there has not been any improvement from what the situation was since Monday when the strike started, as the hospital management is yet to sit with them.
He said: “The status quo remains. No meeting with the management yet. We may meet tomorrow or next; it depends.
“The nationwide strike is ending today, but LUTH’s case is a peculiar one. We have our own local strike which is indefinite and the hospital management is yet to address the issues we raised. For now, resident doctors in LUTH are still on strike.”
He appealed to Nigerians to be patient with them and also prevail on the management of LUTH to urgently address the major issues raised as it concern their training and other issues the management was yet to resolve.
BY Chioma Obinna & Gabriel Olawale
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